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>> production assistant for "inside washington" was provided by all britain communications and politico, reporting on the legislative, executive, and politically arena. >> we found out today that we can no longer bury our dead in this country with the giddy -- dignity. >> this week, the supreme court comes out in favor of free speech, even if it is hateful speech. >> shut up all the talk about infliction of emotional
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distress. >> congress keeps the government running for two weeks. >> passing a spending bill for 14 days is any thing to celebrate. >> if you give them 14 weeks, they take four weeks -- >> in libya, what to do about gaddafi >> kernel gaddafi needs to step down from power and leave. >> what is next for newt gingrich? what about the white house? >> we will look at this very seriously and methodically laid out the framework of what we will do next. >> this one makes your blood boil, it makes my blood boil. it 20-year-old u.s. marine corps lance corporal matthew snyder died in iraq, non-combat related. and 2006 as friends and family were bearing the marine members
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of the westboro baptist church of topeka kansas showed up to inform the world that his dad was god's punishment for this nation's tolerance of homosexuality. it held up signs that said, thank god for dead soldiers, and god hates the u.s.a. and thank god for 9/11. the core cause father sued members of the church, for among other things, at inflicting emotional distress. the jury awarded him $11 million and reduced, but the appeals court threw out the verdict and this week the supreme court ruled 8-1 that as hateful as the speech was, it is nevertheless predicted by the first amendment. as "the wall street journal" put it the other day, even jerks are protected by the first amendment. do you agree? >> the court agreed. remember the word and that the? -- empathy. you have candidate for mr. snyder but the course job is not necessarily to have empathy, but to say what the rules are that
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govern the country. essentially what they said it is the first amendment is not for speech that you agree with, but for the fringes. and if you allow it to be curtailed their, then we will not have a free debate. >> charles? >> i agree. it is a cliche that the glory of the first amendment is that it protects hateful speech, otherwise you do not need it for speech that is okay and accepted. but i think it sheds light on a corner of our lives, and universities that have had a speech code where the law does not reach in and do what it is in this case, which in this case, vindicate free-speech. you have a great curtailment of speech precisely on the grounds of hurtful speech, and i think it has been a bane. it should not be something that we should be proud of -- but the court got it right and set an example. >> which are out and talked about. interestingly, you would think the university would be the absolute center of free-speech. it is not.
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weirdly, it is where political correctness still reigns and the students are afraid of saying things. the very place where they ought to be freest, they are not. i think it vindicates -- i agree, this indicates. eight-one. it was an easy case. >> mark? >> 8-1. i identify with your empathy. a good thing i was not an accord because i would have voted with alito and would have had a tough time explaining that at home. [laughter] but i clearly understand the family's reaction and i think the court in the final analysis was cool headed. >> here is albert snyder, lance corporal snyder that a father. as far as he is concerned the eight judges -- justices that ruled against them does not have this sense god gave a good. >> this court has no problem with the government sending our children over to these wars, sending them back in a body bag and not even have enough
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respect for that dead soldier to be buried peacefully. >> i am telling you, the pickets quadrupled and exponentially the coverage increase. thank you, mr. snyder. now, your son is still guide for your sins and you still have to obey. >> that are taken a person is margie phelps, a member of the church in the personal argue before the u.s. supreme court. the phelps have taken about -- legal fees from mr. snyder. will he have to pay that? then i am confident the people will raise money to pay whenever those fees are, if in fact they want to them. i interviewed all the protagonists in this, and your heart just went out to this family. but you saw the court at the oral arguments struggling. they would have loved to have ruled for them. there is just no way. >> 48 state, 42 u.s. citizens -- senators, veterans groups side
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with albert snyder to protect your laurels from the felt family is psychological terrorism but a lot of news organizations side with the other side, setting the first member protection at the absolute. a justice alito argued the phelps' or engage in the use of fighting words that are not protected. >> first of all, it is not a suicide pact. so there are some limits on it. it is not absolute. you cannot scream fire in a crowded theater. but the limits of restricting speech are pretty far out there. it has to be something really outrageous for the courts to move. remember when the nazi's or margin -- the more people burned the american flag? >> the courts have a well established that the limits are way out there in what is permissible. you have to do something really outrageous and dangerous. >> it is a case like this and that makes you want to recommend extra-legal remedies -- we used to call that a possee or some
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bank. not recommending it but i say it wistfully. but there are no ways illegally in this kind of republic that we have to do anything other than what the court had decided. i wish it would apply in other corners of american society because it is not anywhere. >> ex-legal liberties. >> i did not think the doctor is recommending that. you said the blood boil -- the blood does boil. >> what you have to understand about the westboro baptist church is they are very shrewd. they did not believe in civil disobedience but they do believe and publicity. they always alert authorities in advance. they do exactly what they are told. they stand where they are supposed to. they actually fold up their tent before the funeral axel -- actually begins. but the alerting authorities also brings enormous publicity. >> it shows you how lenient and intolerance and expansive we are
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in granting protection o -- church protection of groups. this is obviously a cult of not cakes, but almost anybody can get a group of nutcakes, call themselves a church and get all kinds of protections, like from taxes, which is not true in most other countries. only here. we have a very wide interpretation of the freedom of speech and religion. >> the supreme court -- "the wall street journal" called them jerks but we could think of other words but we are on tv. the federal government is still in business, at least for a couple of weeks. >> government shut down. >> i have been busy for weeks -- i chuckled. this is a stalling tactic by house republicans because they're not willing to enter into serious negotiations. it has grave consequences to doing business. >> in business for a couple of weeks anyway. for the record, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.9%.
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192,000 jobs added. by the way, 30,000 jobs lost in state and local governments. we can talk about that. this week members of congress returns from a well-deserved a rest. [laughter] what happens for the other two weeks? >> i guess the defense goes on. clearly the obama administration is not doing what i and other loudmouths one of them to do -- come out and say, come on -- this is a slow dance. and they are trying to lure the republicans into actually a bipartisan process to reduce spending. this is going to bounce along for weeks and weeks. apparently without the kind of competition that is going to stop government altogether. >> it is interesting to me that in all public polling, you don't see john bain of becoming a lightning rod. he is doing what a leader is supposed to do. he is basically behind-the- scenes operating. he may not be a nobel prize winner for his intellect, but he is actively enormously
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successful in the balancing act with his majority and the federal government has not closed down. if it does, i think it is a failure. but he managed to walk the tightrope. >> he has a new members to have to deal with, some of whom not willing to compromise. >> in an exclusive interview with "the wall street journal on thursday, john boehner across the third whale -- third rail. he said he is determined to submit a budget this spring that does reduce the social security and medicare spending. which is more than has been forthcoming from the administration at any point that i can say. or anybody else and a position of leadership. he said, i know this is going to be tough, but it is up to us. also said at the same time -- a warning shot to his own caucus -- responsibility to pass the debt ceiling. we have to do it. grown-up of behaving.
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>> if the had gone to page a5 in a thursday's "was the journal" he would have seen the new poll saying the majority of people saying don't cut security and medicare. . and not just majority, but 62%. total un-reality. >> is springtime moment in the middle east and washington where we want to believe in democracy and freedom over there and here that maybe the political parties will step up to the heart problems and do it by compromise and and a bipartisan way. last? i don't know. but it is actually a good moment. >> it is a moment. i think it is happening at the state level -- wisconsin, ohio, and elsewhere, and in the national level you are getting republicans -- as mark indicated -- not the president, when the budget did not do a thing about social security or medicare or tax reform or anything large and important. all of the stuff we are doing now is really small ball.
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we have a deficit of $1.65 trillion and what we did is reduce the debt by four -- literally a rounding error. republicans, led by paul ryan, decided in leadership they will actually produce a budget, propose a budget, that is going to cut entitlements. that is new. the democrats are lying in wait. it is a cynical game. let the republicans lead and then demagogue them and win in 2012. >> precisely the question. it is business as a game -- just a game, a cynical game the democrats to your the republicans out so they can hammer them for throwing granny in the snow? or is this an honest effort to engage in negotiations to produce big cuts? the jury is out. i do not know the secret plan of the obama administration. i suspect it was cynical but starting to wonder. >> is it a trap, mark? >> i do not know if it is a track. at a couple of facts we have to
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address. social security is funded until 2037. even with the increases. medicare is funded to 2029. neither one is going broke this year. they have to be addressed and have to be confronted. the democratic pollster put it well -- americans have more government than they are willing to pay for. you can talk about 25% of gross domestic product being spent by the federal government -- which is a lot by historical standards but many -- but when you are taxing people at 15% of gross domestic product, you're kidding yourself if you did not put taxes on the table on that is the true reality. >> that is the third rail. taxes on the table. >> one of the interesting things i think has happened -- i don't agree with charles, needless to say, about wisconsin -- but it has been a leveling influence. but i did not think it has been a successful moment for the governor in wisconsin. his numbers have gone down.
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he has galvanized nationally the democratic base. so, there are dangers to too much of a confrontation. and i think the scene and wisconsin, it is good for everybody to of seen it. >> according to the poll, 62% opposed efforts of stripping government workers of rights to collective bargaining. >> i would not measure success in wisconsin by the results of a pulp. whether the state remains solvent or not. that is what i think it is about. secondly, market talk about social security and medicare as solvent. you believe that only if you believe that in the lock box in virginia where the social security trust funds supposedly exists is real money. it had little iou's -- promises. there is not a penny in there. social security is a pay-as-you- go system. a right now this year it tips from having a surplus into going into deficit. it will wreck us. >> the poll that you cited, "
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wall street journal" poll -- i great respect, it is a terrific role because to a degree pollsters, a republican and democrat. that was an honest question. two out of three voters won collective bargaining for public employees, including better than one-third of republicans do. so, the governor right now -- not talking about solvency. he is trying to break up collective bargaining and he will lose. >> a page one story from "the new york times" on thursday about a 30-year-old science teacher in wisconsin, makes $36,000, owes $26,000 in student loans and does not have a car. she wants to keep teaching so she will move to colorado with her parents. is she the problem? >> fascinating case. "the liberals -- "the liberal leader times strikes back."
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i have been dumping on the teachers movement. there has been momentum about the tv unions a terrible. at the time, they found a perfect test case to fight back. she is appealing, nice looking, takes care of little kids. she has to leave the state. >> and she is not that atypical. >> empire strikes back. >> what what about her? what about the kids she teaches? >> it is a phony exercise. >> it is not a phony. >> for the kids? give me a break. >> not a phony exercise. >> how naive can you the? >> statistics do not like. and every state and city you go to, you ask what percentage of people -- teachers are let go for cause, always 0 or .01 percent, and it is possible -- impossible to get fired under these union contracts. >> one of the two members of this panel graduate of public
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schools, i challenge anybody to say what teacher most inspired them and the entire educational career. unbearably it is a teacher who taught for 20 years. -- on variably. they had a very special connection. >> no link with this in your -- >> that these people would become an investment bankers, had to fund manager is? >> stallone's. -- student loans for teaching. that is what they ought to do. >> hello? >> all or are better is does not statistically. been altered teacher are bad? >> but absolutely no equation correlation between security and quality. >> let me hear from charles. >> i have not said anything. >> just a second. >> the reason why collective bargaining for public and police was opposed by fdr, laguardia, and george meany -- none of them, i would say, is a
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republican. the reason is there is a complete imbalance when you have a public employee and a private employee. if you have a capitalist negotiating with a union, if he gives away the store he loses his shirt. you have a serious negotiation. if you've got a public union negotiating with the government, the negotiator on the other side of the table has none of his money invested, and in fact, the more lenient he is and more accommodating is to a union demand, the more likely is to be the beneficiary of the largess of the union at election time. that is why you have had these extraordinary union contracts where it is not the wages, it is the benefits. as we saw in wisconsin. they pay zero and to pensions and a quarter of what other people pay for health care. >> nina? >> a graduate of public school and the mother of a public school teacher. let me just say most public
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school teachers make, back -- by comparison police and firemen -- incredible little money. they do one job security. they did not want some principle to be able to fire them at well because they did not like that -- there is an argument on both sides. but the people who are educating their children, if they make $50,000 a year, so what? >> charles' figures are interesting but wrong. nine states in the country for bid collective bargaining for public employees and their indebtedness is higher than states that have collective bargaining. i explained that, if you would, please, dr.? >> ok. he will have to do it later. what do about gaddafi in libya. >> the violence must stop. muammar gaddafi has lost legitimacy -- legitimacy and he must leave. >> what are the chances in his desperation that gaddafi testers to kill people?
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we all admit he is insane. >> john mccain. that is the dilemma. how'd you get rid of a madman, charles? >> you have to hope that the libyans themselves will do it, although it looks like it may end up either as a stalemate or you will have an east and west libya, two countries, or you could have a very long, long civil war. ours was four years. at least things and not have ended 18 days as they ended in egypt. do we really want to commit ourselves to one side? it looked as if gaddafi was almost gone and all he needed was a push of a feather, which would be our controlling airspace and nondurables to counterattack, i would say, yes. but you have to think of contingencies. what if gaddafi hangs on after we impose a no-fly zone? we are then committing to a civil war that could be and less. >> no-fly zones cannot be easy. you have to take out defenses.
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>> it is a big country. a major military operation. the great commandos in congress have nowhere near any military service, have this idea that we can sort of do it magically with aircraft. you can't. let's be very blunt. the experience of this country has had it in iraq and afghanistan has made us, a, invasion of verse, casualty evers, and certainly occupation of verse. gates is absolutely right. we will not have a fourth war at this point. >> the secretary did give a whit of reality call in his testimony did -- this week. the other thing, you cannot just start pumping weapons in. those weapons can end up on the wrong side, as we saw in afghanistan. >> they often do. >> 1986, we tried to kill gaddafi. remember, he was linked to the terrorist attack in berlin? which sent an air strike, blow up a tent -- did not kill him
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but killed one of his daughters. the point is, there is no such thing as a surgical strike. they are hard to do. >> by the way, i read this week that the case of pan am 103 c ase gaddafi is still open, locker be. >> the one reason to want to kill long, because he deserves it, and we owe him. he obviously -- you did not have a bureaucrat in libya and wakes up this morning and decide i want to explode and american airplane. and all emanates out of that office. he is the one behind it. >> newt gingrich for present. thinking about it. >> what you have lived through 421 have long years is the most systematic, the leverage of obstruction of justice, cover- up, an effort to avoid the truth, we have ever seen in american history. >> that was april 27, 1998.
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house speaker newt gingrich on the impeachment of bill clinton. gingrich, as mark shields said, once complained clinton made him ride in the back of the air force one and "new york daily news" label and a cry very and -- but they did work together and accomplish some things. >> let's hope. he certainly has the capacity to raise money. he has sort of a temporary position. he is at an exploratory stage. a little tension in his own staff because a political guy said he would announce the exports. committee and the press i said he was not any basically did not. but he did representative -- recommend that he and mr.s during bridge has featured. unfortunately, it has won a photo and it is a crowd waiting flags and smiling, mixed racially, ethnically -- lifted
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from ted kennedy's website. interesting for an original thinker. >> and nice shot. charles. >> i will not comment on what mark said because he is a commentator but i would say your introduction as a model of impartiality and evenhanded. crybaby, an appeasement. this is a guy of considerable achievement. he has won the house republicans for the first time in two generations. and he had some successes. he and president clinton at the time essentially gave birth to the most important social the distillation of that time, the evolution of welfare. he is not exactly the kind of man i think it is going to win the republican nomination. i think he is to all over the place and has a lot of baggage. but he is an interesting and serious thought. and i want to commend you on the way you evenhandedly -- >> i thought you'd enjoy it.
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>> newt gingrich is a man of such enormous contradictions. a person of considerable intellect who has great organizational skills and can be really smart, and also inspirational but could also be incredibly cynical. a man who loves to sort of use the social wedge issues to visit a man is an advantage of the republican party but has his own family history that will not withstand easy scrutiny. and many more -- like out of a novel. >> listening to a lecture about benjamin franklin this week, and and franklin, one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century, he had a horrible family life. it is unjust thing. the large ego people -- newt as in the world of ideas and politics, the fact he has a rotten family life is kind of sad but not without precedent. >> more than a family life.
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this guy has more baggage than tippett airlines. -- united airlines. he had two mutinies and had to leave the speaker. he was the architect and engineer of the takeover but obviously was not an effective stored or leader to the fact that his own troops rebelled against him. >> he left behind some landmark legislation -- he and clinton together. that is quite an achievement if you are an uncertain. he was a good political leader. i do not know how shrinking is the republican field. mitt romney, new gingrich, brass tim pawlenty. that is it. >> the last word. thanks. see you next week. >> for a transcript, log onto
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"inside washington.
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Inside Washington
PBS March 5, 2011 4:00am-4:30am EST

News/Business. (2011) (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Wisconsin 7, Gaddafi 6, Newt Gingrich 4, Libya 4, Mr. Snyder 3, U.s. 3, Washington 3, Clinton 3, Us 3, Obama Administration 2, Afghanistan 2, Westboro 2, Iraq 2, Albert Snyder 2, Benjamin Franklin 1, Margie Phelps 1, John Bain 1, Lance Corporal Snyder 1, John Boehner 1, Administration 1
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